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HomenewsHamas releases video showing three women hostages in Gaza

Hamas releases video showing three women hostages in Gaza

The Palestinian armed group Hamas has released a video that shows three hostages held in the besieged Gaza Strip, drawing condemnation from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The video was released on Monday by the armed wing of Hamas, the Qassam Brigades.

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The women who appear in the video are likely to have done so under duress.

Denouncing the video as “cruel psychological propaganda”, Netanyahu identified the three as Yelena Trupanob, Danielle Aloni and Rimon Kirsht.

In the video clip, three women are sitting side by side against a bare wall. They have no visible signs of injury. One of the women delivers an angry message to the Israeli prime minister, accusing Netanyahu of failing to protect Israeli citizens when Hamas attacked southern Israel on October 7.

At least 1,400 people were killed in the attack, according to Israeli officials, and more than 230 others were taken as hostages.

The women in the video called for an agreement to secure their release in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners.

“You were supposed to free all of us. You committed to free us all. But instead, we are carrying your political, security, military, diplomatic failure,” she said.

Reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher said some families of those held captive had reacted “quite positively” to the release of the video.

“It runs just over a minute,” Fisher said. “The background is deliberately nondescript so that no place can be identified. The woman who addresses Netanyahu in particular with the quotes says that she blames him for the security, intelligence and military failure on October 7.

“Some families have reacted quite positively to the release of the video. They understand how it came about, but they say that anything that essentially gives proof of life is to be welcomed and gives them encouragement.”

In a statement, Netanyahu repeated a pledge to make every effort to bring the hostages home.

“Abducted by Hamas, which is committing war crimes, I embrace you. Our hearts are with you and with the other captives. We are doing everything to bring home all the captives and the missing,” he said.

The women’s families were due to give a news conference at 7pm (17:00 GMT).

The short video is the second hostage message to be issued by Hamas, following an earlier clip of 21-year-old Franco-Israeli woman Mia Schem that was released on October 17.

The presence of the hostages in Gaza has complicated the ground operation in the enclave begun by Israeli forces last week, following an intense campaign of air strikes that Palestinian authorities say has killed more than 8,000 people.

Four hostages have been released so far, but efforts to secure additional releases through back-channel efforts coordinated by Qatar appear to have been put on hold following the start of the ground operation.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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